Best Sources for Political Science Scholarships

The interdisciplinary study of Political Science prepares students at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels for careers in politics, public service, law, and business. As s social science it is also the backbone for a professional career in journalism, activism and academics. For Political Science majors the opportunities are boundless, but the financial demands can be staggering. The right scholarship can help you realize both your academic and professional goals.

Scholarship programs encouraging and supporting students entering the Political Science arena are plentiful, and come from a variety of sources. The Federal government, professional associations and universities all provide lucrative financial aid programs dedicated to Poli-Sci students. Women and minority students, in particular, will find an abundance of scholarship programs designed to expand and diversify a field that has historically been dominated by the white male elite.

Federal Sources for Political Science Scholarships

The Federal government, as a rule, provides a limited number of scholarships for specific disciplines. While government grants and loan programs supporting general education students are plentiful, dedicated scholarship are rare. Beyond the Federal support for students studying one of the core STEM disciplines, the major source of scholarship awards for Political Science majors is the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. The Truman Foundation provides annual scholarship opportunities to college students who are pursuing a career in government, advocacy and public service. Political Science majors entering their junior year at an accredited university are eligible to receive scholarships of up to $30,000 to be put towards the cost of tuition. Recipients must agree to fulfill a service contract with a designated public service agency following graduation.

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Private Sources for Political Science Scholarships

If the Federal government makes few provisions for dedicated Political Science scholarships, the private sector definitely helps to fill the gap. Professional associations, political organizations and corporations all sponsor scholarship programs of varying sizes that are designed to encourage and support the next generation of American leaders. Award amounts vary from program to program, as do the specific requirement associated with each scholarship award. Some of the more notable private sector scholarships for Political Science majors include:

  • The American Political Science Association sponsors a number of scholarships, grants and fellowship programs designed to support Political Science majors. These include theMinority Fellow Program, the APSA Centennial Center Visiting Scholars Program and the Congressional Fellowship Award.
  • The Ben Franklin Scholarship at Lint Center sponsor a small annual award of $500 to college-bound students pursuing a degree in Political Science. The scholarship rewards students who demonstrates an exceptional understanding of the importance of alternative strategies to ensuring America's security.
  • The Davidson Institute for Talent Development sponsors the annual Davidson Fellow Scholarship which rewards exceptional students in the fields of literature, philosophy and the social sciences. Awards range from $10,000 to $50,000.

Political Science scholarships can also be found sponsored or supported by local political party associations. These awards are generally smaller than their national counterparts, but can go some way to helping defray the cost of a students tuition. Examples of Political science scholarships offered by regional political associations include:

  • The Democratic Party of Washington County, Oregon sponsors the Ellie Burch Legacy Scholarship. This award is open to college-bound students attending an Oregon university, and awrds range from $500 to $1000.
  • The National Federation of Republican Women sponsor a number of scholarships and internships for eligible Political Science majors. These programs include the National Pathfinder Scholarship, The Betty Rendel Scholarship and the Dorothy Andrews Kabis Memorial Internship.

College and University Scholarships

Colleges and university's often provide scholarship opportunities for their Political Science majors. The monetary payouts can range from small supplementary awards to larger, more substantial funding. Large or small, these scholarship awards can help to defray the mounting costs of a college education, and can go a long way toward covering the costs of books, transportation and lab fees. No scholarship, whatever it's size, should ever be ignored. These examples will help give you an idea of the types of scholarships that may be available from your college of choice.

  • The University of Montana – Missoula offers a number of dedicated Political Science scholarships. Awards range from $500 to $2700 dollars and are available to students currently enrolled in the Political Science department at UM.
  • Washington State University offers a large number of Political Science scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students.These include the H. Paul Castleberry Undergraduate Scholarship, the Judges Thomas and Marshall Neill Memorial Scholarship and the Claudius O. and Mary W. Johnson Graduate Fellowship in Political Science. Award amount vary, and eligibility is determined on the basis of financial need, academic merit, and student leadership.

Minority Scholarships in Political Science

Women and minorities have been historically underrepresented in both politics and national leadership roles. In an effort to encourage and support previously disenfranchised students on their path to a career in politics and public service, many associations and organizations offer attractive scholarship opportunities. Designed to help diversify the public and political face of the nation, these ethnic and gender specific scholarships are helping to expand and revitalize the leadership structure of the country.

Some notable examples of minority specific Political Science scholarships include:

  • The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation supports a number of scholarship opportunities for Native American and Alaska Native students pursuing studies in Political Science. These programs are Federally funded, and as amany as a 100 scholarships are awarded annually.
  • The Jorge Mas Canosa Freedom Foundation sponsors the annual Mas Family Scholarship Program. Supported by a generous donation from the Mas Family, these scholarships are dedicated to supporting the educational aspirations of Cuban-American students in every field of study, including Political Science.
  • The William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fellowship for Minority Students, administered by the Aspen Foundation, provides for paid internships and fellowships for minority students pursuing a career in advocacy, public service and social welfare.

For the student pursuing a degree in Political Science, the scholarship opportunities are many and varied. From regional political action groups to national associations working to diversify the leadership of the nation, sponsored Political Science scholarships can help students from every background realize their educational goals.